Sunday, February 23, 2014

2014. I'll start over.....with food.

I love to cook. So many people do. I love a recipe. I love to experiment. I like food I can feed my family. This is a variation on the Chicken Florentine theme that has been through a bazillion remakes.

This meal happened to my life in my favorite grocery store HEB. Pre-Firstborn Child. It was DEMO Day - the grazer's favorite pasttime - the opportunity to create a food baby on appetizer size samples of food they want you to buy. I call it Food Sex.

One such demo was pasta florentine:
  • 1 lb of linguine, cooked/drained
  • 1 lb cooked shrimp 
  • 16 oz HEB Spinach Dip
The demo lady had mixed all of this together & it was very tasty. I bought the ingredients & headed home...a couple of hours later. Hey, I like to stroll through the grocery store.

The meal was an immediate favorite of mine. The Rock Star wanted chicken instead of shrimp. So I made it the next week using a rotisserie chicken.

I love to debone a chicken. LOVE.

Chicken was better - it soaked up the spinach dip better. This meal takes less than 15 minutes. I am not kidding. For 6yrs, this has been a favorite meal in our home. We have doubled it for friends & served salad/bread with it. It just works. If I roast my own chicken, the process is longer & more satisfying. 

Tonight, I wanted to play with it a bit. I had roasted/deboned a chicken last week. I still use linguine. This time I added stuff to the dip to make it bind together, made a topping, & baked it as a casserole.
Chicken Florentine - Riser Variation No. 5
  • 1 roasted or rotisserie chicken, deboned & chunked
  • 1 lb linguine, cooked & drained
  • 16 oz HEB Spinach Dip
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 sour cream
  • House Seasoning
  • 1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed
  • 1/2 butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated

  1. Cook pasta as directed on box.
  2. If chicken is not warm, put a bit of EVOO in a skillet & warmed it up. 
  3. Spinach Dip Mixture - mix dip, sour cream, house seasoning (a few shakes) & mozzarella cheese in a large bowl.
  4. Topping: Mix sleeve of crackers with melted butter, then add parmesan cheese. I also add some of McCormick's  Italian Seasoning.
  5. Once chicken is warm, mix it with the spinach mixture. Then add cooked/drained pasta. Combine well.
  6. Use a 9x13 glass pan with cooking spray - put entire mix in the dish. Add topping. Bake 350° for 30min.

We loved it this way, too. Next time, I'm gonna add more mozzarella cheese. Because everything is better with cheese.

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